E185 .61 .C23 LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 0001371^37 v~ *o *0 rr- *> ^ * SOME ASPECTS ...OF... THE RACE PROBLEM IN THE SOUTH ^ej£ A PAPER BY REV. ROBERT F. CAMPBELL, D. D., Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, ASHEVLLLE, N. C. & AsHI'.VILLK : Asheville Printing Company, Print. 1899. *934 ibyy ww» : * PREFATORY NOTE. On Christmas clay, 1^98, the writer preached a sermon in the First Presbyterian Church, Asheville, on Our Duty to the Xegroes. The congregation was composed of persons repre- senting the four quarters of the Union, many of whom have asked that the sermon be published. A condensed report ap- peared in the columns of The Asheville Daily Citizen, • and this report excited considerable interest among those who had not heard the discourse. Several of the negro pastors in the city have expressed a desire to have copies of the sermon for circulation among their people. In addition to these requests, there comes one from the Rev. D. Clay Lilly, Secretary of Colored Evangeli- zation for the Southern Presbvterian Church, for fifteen hun- dred copies, to be issued by the Committee having this work in charge. These requests coming from so many independent sources, and from so many classes of persons supposed to have diver- gent views on the subject treated, seem to indicate that some good might be accomplished by the publication of the sub- stance of what was said. The sermon was preached from out- line notes and could not be reproduced in the exact form in which it was delivered. It has seemed best in preparing it for publication, to alter its character somewhat, and to send it forth as a paper rather than as a sermon. The points dis- cussed are the same, but the proportion of the parts has been changed, much more space being given in the paper to the historical and sociological setting. Use has been made of some material that ha? appeared since the sermon was deliv ered. When the writer was a boy thirteen and fourteen years of age he taught during two scholastic years a night school for colored men. He was for several years a teacher in a Sunday school for negroes and afterwards superintendent of the school. From his boyhood he has been interested in the ad vaneement of the negro race. P. F. CAMPBELL. Asheville, X. C, March 23, 1899. Some Aspects of the Race Problem in the South* Though the present generation is not responsible for the existence of the race problem, it is responsible for its solution. In the providence of God, this great problem has fallen to us as part of our inheritance, and we must settle it according to the eternal principles of truth and righteousness. The fact that this question has been made a rallying point for sectionalism has been the greatest obstacle in the way of its peaceful solution. It is high time that the two sections, so long and so un- happily divided by strife over the negro's status in this coun- try, should join hands as a token of peace and a pledge of mutual helpfulness in all that concerns the solution of this question in its present phases. It should be remembered that while geographically the problem is largely a Southern one. historically both sections are responsible for its existence, and the interests of both are involved in its settlement. It is the purpose of this paper to call attention to some aspects of the race problem, with reference to the pasl history, the presenl -talus, and the future prospects of the negro in this country, and the white man's duty to his brother in black. I. The responsibility for the negro's former -tat us as a slave in this country rests equally on both sections <>\ the Union. I lie first cargo of Africans was landed in a half starving conditio!] on the shore of Virginia by a Dutch man-of-war in 1620, mill bartered to the colonists for food. The seed of African slavery, introduced into America by accident so far ;i- any previous intention on the part of these colonists was concerned, soon took root, and the institution spread with the growth of the country. .Mr. Geo. II. Moore, librarian of tin- Historical Society of Now York, ami corresponding member of the Historical So- ciety of Massachusetts, has shown that Massachusetts was "the first community in America to legalize the slave-tra — 6- and slavery by legislative act; the firsl to -end out a slave- ship, and the firsl to secure a fugitive slave-law." In 177*; slavery existed in all the thirteen colonies, and whal Mr. E. I'.. Sanford says of Connecticul in bis bistory of thai Stale is true of the North generally: "The cause of the final abolition of slavery in the State was the fact that it be- came unprofitable." + Mr. Hamilton W. Mabie Bays: "All the Northern States abolished slavery, beginning with Vermont in 1777, and ending with New Jersey in L804. It should be added, how- ever, that many of the Northern slaves were not freed, but sold to the South. The agricultural and commercial conditions in the North were such as to make slave labor less and less profitable, while in the South the social order of tilings, agri- cultural conditions and the climate, were gradually making it seemingly indispensable "J Even after the abolition of slavery in New England, "the slave-trade in New England vessels did not cease." > hi 1769 the Virginia legislature enacted that the further importation of negroes, to he sold into slavery, should be pro- hibited. || Six years later Massachusetts followed Virginia's example. The action of both colonies was rendered null and void by the British government, which, for the sake of gain, fastened the traffic in slaves on the American colonies. ** In the Federal convention (1787) New England voted with South I iarolina and < reorgia, against the sturdy opposition of Virginia, for the prolonging of the -lave trade for twenty years ft Though all the foremosl state-men and many of the plan- ter- of Virginia were from an early date opposed to the con- tinuance of slavery, the question of emancipation assumed a ♦Moore's "Historv of Slavery in ^^Massachusetts," cited by Thomas Nelson Page in "The Old South," pp. 292-29 tjohn Piske, "The Critical Period of American History," p. 73. Sanford's "Historv of Connecticut," p. 252. J "The Story of America," by Hamilton W. Mabie and Marshal H. Bright, p. 282. § W. B. Weeden, "Economic and Social History of New England," Vol. 2, p. 835. || John Piske, ■'ThcCritic-.il Period of American History." p. 72. ** Ibid., p. 72. ++ Ibid., p. 264. — 7— much more serious phase in the South than in the North, be- cause economic conditions had caused a natural gravitation of the negroes southward. * "The number of African slave- in North America in 1756 was about 292,000. Of these Virginia had L20,000, her white population amounting at the same time to 173,000." + By the census of 1790 there were only 40,370 negroes at the North, while the South had 657,527. "In thai (the Northern) part of America," wrote Mr. Jefferson, who was a vigorous opponent of slavery, "there are but few slaves. and they can easily disencumber themselves of them." The statement of these historical facts should allay rather than exasperate sectionalism. They show that the responsi- bility for slavery in this country rests on both shoulders of the body politic, and therefore •'the right hand cannot say to the left, I have no need of thee." One hand needs the help of the other in bearing the great burden which, as we shall see, has been shifted but not removed by emancipation. IJ. The negro could not have existed in the early stages of his career in this country except as a -lave, and there is reason to believe that slavery accomplished more for him than could have been accomplished under any other system of labor whatsoever. That the negro could not have found or kept a footing in this country except as a slave is too obvious for proof. The Chinaman tried to get in, but was met at the threshold by an act of Congress to the effect that this is "a white man's conn try," or, at least, not a yellow man's country. The Indian. who equally with the negro has "'rights which a white man is bound to respect." has been driven westward, and i- "fast being removed by powder, rascality and liquor. Would the black man, under the same conditions, have fared any better than his brother in yellow or red I The Rev. Dr. II. B. Frissel of Hampton [nstitute, Va.. say-. "When Indian and negro are placed -ide by side in the school-room and work-shop at Hampton, it is very clear that slavery was a much hotter training school for life alongside of the white man than was the reservation." £ And Dr. Frissel's great predecessor, Gen. Armstrong, an- ~*John Flske" "The Critical Period of American History," p. 73. t J. E. Cooke's "Virginia," p. 367. J "Dr. A. L. Phillips. Presbyterian Quarterly, Oct. 1S91, p. 537. $ Proceedings of the First Capon Springs Conference for Christian Education in the South, 1S9S, p. 4. — s_ other of those noble men of the North who came South to give practical aid in the solution of the race problem, said, "We • ■an see thai while slavery was called "the sum of all villanies,' ii became, as ii was called by a clever Virginian, 'the greatest missionary enterprise of the century. 5 " * Senator Vance was simply stating a patent historical fact when In' declared, "The negro bas made more progress in one hundred years ;i- ;i Southern slave than in all the rive thou- sand years intervening from hi- creation until hi- landing on these shores." f The highesl tribute ever paid to the institution of slavery was the conferring of the laurel wreath of citizenship upon it- graduates by the government of the United States. The negro came to this country a savage, but Vfas civilized and elevated to such a degree by the training he received in the homes and on the plantations <>f the South thai he was dei med ready, without any further preparation, for the highest civic responsibilities known on earth. III. The hope for peaceful relation- between the two me, s in the future lie- along the line of the adjustment establishe i between the negro and the white man through these year- of slavery. If the negro i- driven to the wall before the stronger race, it will he because the friendly relation- of the past shall be entirely, as they have been partially, disrupted by selfish and malicious demagogues, or by well-meaning hut misguided philanthropists. The kindly feeling that existed between the two races un- der the institution of slavery ha- been written in indelible characters, ami n<> amount of misrepresentation, whether prompted by malice or flowing from ignorance, car obliterate the record. That there were instances of cruelty and wrong connected with the relation of master and -lave, nu one will deny; hut that the slaves of the South were a- a class kindlv treated by their masters is proved by their conducl during the civil war, "wherein the negro was ready to take sides with his alleged oppressor againsl hi- -elf appointed cham- ij » pion. * Proceedings of the First Capon Springs Conference for Christian Education in the South, [898, p. 4. + Dowd's Life of Vance, p, j.s.v X Henry Alexander White, "Robert E. Lee and The Southern Con federacy," p. S5. — 9— Senator Vance in a lecture delivered in Boston before a post of the Grand Army of the Republic, — a lecture which was enthusiastically applauded by the brave and magnani- mous veterans who heard it, — spoke of this remarkable fact as follows: "Here permit rue to call jour attention to the conduct of the Southern slaves during the war. You had been taught by press, pulpit and hustings, to believe that they were an oppressed, abused and diabolically treated ra e: that their groans daily and hourly appealed t<> heaven, whilst their shackles and their scars testified in the face of all hu- manity against their treatment How was this grave impeachment of a whole people sustained, when you wen' among them to emancipate them from the horrors of their serfdom? When the war began, naturally you expected in- surrections, incendiarv burnings, murder and outrage, with all the terrible conditions of servile war. There were not want ing fanatical wretches who did their utmost to excite it. Did you find it so? Here is what you found. Within hearing of the guns that were roaring to se1 them free, with the land stripped of its male population, and none around them except the aged, the women and the children, thev not only failed to embrace their opportunity of vengeance, but for the m part thev failed to avail themselves of the chance of freedom itself. They remained quietly on our plantations, cultivated our fields, and cared for our mothers, wives and little one-. with a faithful love and a loyal kindness which, in the nature of things, could only be born of sincere good-will These facts are significant. Thai they are complimentary in the highest degree to the black race no one doubts; do they not also say enough for the Southern whites, in regard to their rule as masters, to justify yon in thinking better of them than perhaps yon have been accustomed to do? According to well known moral laws this kindly loyalty of the one race could not have been begotten by the cruelty and oppression of the other."* Concerning the happiness of : e Southern slaves Thackeray wrote, after a vi-it to the United State-: "How they sang; how they laughed and grinned; how they scraped, bowed, and complimented yon and i »ther, those negroes of the * Dowd's "Life of Zebulon B. Vance," pp. 449-450. —10— cities of the Southern parts of the then United States! My bus- iness kept me in the town-; 1 was but in one negro plantation village, and there were only women and little children, the men being ou1 a-field. But there was plenty of cheerful] - in the huts, under the great trees — I speak of what I saw — and amidsl the dusky bondsmen of the cities. I witnessed a curious gayety; heard amongst the black folk endless Binging, shouting and laughter; and saw on holidays black gentlemen and ladies arrayed in such splendor and comfort as freeborn workmen in our towns seldom exhibit."* Much has been written by New England ] ts ,.n the horrors of Southern slavery. Eere is a picture of the relation of master and slave drawn by the poet of the negro race, Paul Laurence Dunbar: Dai chrism, is on </< oV Plantation.] It was Chrisnnis Kvc, 1 mind hit fu' a mighty gloomy day — Bofe de weathah an' de peoph — not a one of us was gay: Cose you'll fink dat's mighty funny twell 1 try to mek hit clean. Fu 5 a da'ky's alius happy when de holidays is near. But we wasn't, fu' dat mo'nin' M[astah'd tol' us we mus' go, Jle'd been payin' us sence freedom, but he couldn't pay no mo'. He wa'n't nevab used to plannin' 'fo' he got so po' an' ol' 3 So he gwine to give up tryin' an' de homestead must be sol'. I kin see him stan'in' now.erpon de step ez cleah ez day, W'id de win' a kin' o' fondlin' thoo his haih all thin an' gray: An' I 'membah how be trimbled when he said, "It'- ha'd fu' me, Nol i" mek yo' < !hrismus brightah, but I 'low ii wa'n't to b-?. All dc women was a-cryin' an' de men. too, on de sly, An' 1 noticed somep'n' shinin' even in ol' Mastah's eye, Bui we all si 1 -till to listen ez ol' Ben come Pom de crowd An' spoke up a tryin' to steady down his voire and mek it loud: * Thackeray's "Roundaboul Papers- A Mississippi Bubble." + From "The Ladies' Home Journal," December, [898, through the courtes} of the Publishers. —11— "Look hyeah, Mastah, I's been servin' you fu' lo! dese many yeahs, An' now sence we's all got freedom an' you's kind o' po', hit 'pears Dat you want us all to leave you 'cause you don't t'ink you can pay— Ef my memory hasn't fooled me, seem dat what I hyeard you sav. v Er in othah wo'ds, you wants us to fu'git dat you's been kin', An' ez soon ez you is he'pless, we's to leave you hycah behin'. Well, ef dat's de way dis freedom ac's on people, white er black, You kin' jes' tell Mistah Lincum fu' to tek his freedom back. AVe gwine wo'k dis oP plantation fu' whatevah we kin git, Fu' I know hit did suppo't us, an' de place kin do it yit. Now de land is yo's, de hands is ouahs, but I reckon we'll be brave, An' we'll bah ez much ez you do when we have'to scrape an' save." OP Mastah stood dah trimblin', but a-smilin', thoo his tealis. An' den hit seemed jes' nachul-like, de place fah rung wid 1 clioahs, An' soon ez dey was quiet, some one sta'ted sof an' low: '"Praise God" an' den wc all jined in. "from whom all bless- iii's flow!" Well, dey wasn't no use tryin', ouah min's was sot to stay, An' po' oP Mastah couldn't plead ner baig, ner drive us 'way, An' all at once, hit seemed to us, de day was bright agin, So evah one was gay da1 night an' watched de Chrismus in. Many examples might be given of time's failure to impair the bond of affection thai waxed strong on the old planta- tion. Two instances that have very lately come under the person- al observation of the writer arc -elected. They are like the obverse and reverse of an old corn, whose image and super- scription remain clear-cut and distinct in spite of the abrasion of years. The first instance illustrates the very common interest felt —12— by former slave-holders and their families in the welfare of the freednieri whom thej once owned; the second is a rare manifestation of the no less common gratitude and affection abiding in the hearts of ex-slaves for those whom they still call "Massa" and "Missus." More than thirty-live years after the Emancipation Procla- mation this Letter was addressed by the daughter of a slave- holder to the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Abbe- ville. , N. C, Dec. 2, '98. Dear Sir:- May I venture to tax your time and strength to visit a pour sick negro man in Asheville, who once beloi _ ed to my father. Eis mother was our faithful servant, and in bis childhood he lived in the family until some year- after they were freed. Since then he has led a bad life and now is • lying slowly by disease. Perhaps the gospel message might reach his heart now at the eleventh hour and save him at last. 1 am sure yon will rejoice to be the bearer of the pre- cious message to a dying sinner, and may God make it a saving one. Four -incere friend, Directions wee- given for finding the poor man and the message was delivered. Ee said joyfully that he had been trusting Jesus Chrisl as bis Saviour for several months, that "Miss Sarah"' had been very kind in sending him money to buy medicine and food, and be sent her word that he would meet her in heaven. The reverse picture is vouched for by a Presbyterian elder on whose place the ex slave spoken of now lives, ^boul L856 the holder of a small trad of poor land, which was worked bv a few slaves, died. ie&\ ins a widow and two children. The surrender left this little family with only the wn and worn-out plantation. In 1876 the -,,11 died, and about the same time the daug] married a worthless man and removed to another State. This left the widow alone with no mean- of support. One of the negroes formerly owned by 'be family, seeing the condition of hi- old mistress, came al once to her relief and began to supply her with food purchased with bis own wagi —Ki- ln 1891 he moved to another pari of the State, 225 miles from the old plantation home. Bu1 before leaving he told one of the Leading merchants of the com- munity to sec thai his old mistress did nol suffer for anything, and to send the bills to him. At first bills for food came, but later he has paid for her clothes, too, and all this withoul th< slightest expectation of getting anything in return. She is now over eighty years of age, and her lasl days are made bright by the gratitude and affection of her former slave. The Presbyterian elder who gave me these facts says of him: 'Tie is quite reticent about it, and 1 learned of it only aboul a year ago." No one will contend that slavery is an ideal system. At best it could be only temporary, not final. Bui as a matter of fact, there has never been in the world an economic system which could compare with Southern slavery in forging bonds of personal affection between capital and labor, grappling the hearts of the two together with hooks of steel. Any stable superstructure of good- will between the two race- under the new conditions in the South must be built upon the foundation laid in the days of slavery, a foundation that has been shaken but not destroyed by the storm- that have beat upon it. This is recognized by the wisest leaders of the negro in both races, notably by that great audi good colored man. Booker T. Washington. My friend, Dr. Thomas Lawrence, now President of the Normal and < tollegiate Institute of tin.- city, who spent twelve years of his life in educational work for the negro at Biddle 1 niversity, has -aid to me repeatedly, that in hi- opinion all efforts of Northern philanthropists t.. help the negro will le in vain, unless conserving the friendly relation between the two races and enlisting the approval , sympathy and co-op ra- tion of the best white people of the South. \o graver mistake has been made in dealing with the rare problem than the ignoring of this first principle by some of the negro's would-be-friends. It ifiii-1 m.r be understood from what has been 3aid of the benefits that came to the negro through slavery that the Southern white- regret the passing away of this institution. It put shackles upon Southern industry and retarded the eco —14— nomic development of states richly dowered with material r< soura 5. 'Tor domestic purposes," wrote Thackeray in the paper al- ready quoted, "it seemed to me about the dearest institution that <-an be devised. In a house in a Southern city, you will find fifteen aegroes doing the work which John, the cook, the housemaid, and the help, do perfectly in your own comfortable London house. And these fifteen negroes are the pick of a family of some eighty or ninety. Twenty are sick, or too old for work, Let as say: twenty too clumsy: twenty are too young, and have to be nursed and watched by ten more. And master has to maintain the immense crew to do the work of half a dozen willing bands." It was a common saying that tin- greatest -lav,- in the household and <>n the plantation were master and mistress. That the abolition of this double bondage ha- been a bless ing to the white man, no one '-an doubt, whatever may hi- the judgment concerning hi- brother in black. Though clouds and darkness veil the final issue of the new race problem, we may trusl that in pursuing "the right, a- God gives us to - tin- right," cloud- and darkness will flee before us. It i- the path of tin- just that shineth more and more unto the perl day. IV. And bere emerges a question of grave importance because of its bearing <<u tin- future Ha- tin- negro im- proved since emancipation? To those who have given little heed to the history of the freedmen, it may seem strange that this inquiry should be raised. Bu1 there are two sides to I question, and. while one side Beems very bright, the other i- ju-t a- dark. Let ii- look at the question from several points of view.* i l i. Tin \< gro and Education. "Here," says Bishop Penick, "is one "f the wonders ^\ the time." In 1865 a very -mall proportion of the negroes of the South could read. "Today not less than twenty five thousand are professors or teachers in colleges and schools. A \ * For tin- st itistics that follow, so far i- based on tin- Census of i I am indebted largely to the Rt. Rev. C. Clifton Penick, D. I>.. of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who has made ;i thorough studyof this question, in tin- light of that Census, in his "Struggles, Perils and Hopes of the Negroes in the United States." —15— number of well-read preachers, lawyers, doctors, mail agents and clerks arc at work." There arc aboul one hundred and fifty new -papers edited by black men, all established since 1 *(>.">. For the school year 1896-'97 there were 1,460,084 negro children enrolled in the pnhlic schools. This enrollmenl is nearly 52 per cent, of the colored school population, as againsl an enrollment of about 68 per cent, of the white school population. The percentage of illiteracy among the negroes fell from 70 per cent, in 1880 to 56 per cent, in 1890. According to the estimate of Dr. A. D. Mayo, of Boston, the Southern Stales have contributed $85,000,000 for negro education, which large sum has been supplemented by $25,- 000,000 from philanthropists of the North and the national government.* Dr. W. T. Harris, Commissioner of Education, says, 'it is believed thai since 1870 the Southern States have expended about $100,000,000 for the education of colored children." + (2). The Negro and the Churches. It is well-established, and ought to he well-known, that pro vision was made in the cities and on most of the plantations of the South for the religious instruction of the slaves, and that large numbers of them were members of the various churches along with the white people. A few examples selected from scores thai might be cited will show that white masters were not indifferenl to the spiritual welfare of their black slaves. In 1848 an enterprise was begun for the more thorough going evangelization of the colored people in Charleston, S. C, under the auspices of the Rev. Dr. -I. B. Adger and the session of the Second Presbyterian Church. Tn 1859 a church building costing twenty-five thousand dollars, contributed \>\ the citizens of Charleston, was dedicated. From the firsl the greal building was filled, the blacks occupying the main floor, and the whites the galleries, which seated two hunderd and fifty persons. The Rev. 1 >r. J. L. Girardeau, one of the greatesl preachers in the South, was for year- the pastor of * First Capon Springs Conference, p. 5. t Report of Commissioner of Education, [SQ6-97. Vol. 2. p. 2296. —16— this church. Tin- close of the war found it with exactly five hundred colored members, and nearly one hundred white A minister in Natchez wrote to Dr. Charles Colcock Jones in the '30's: "I have committed to me the instruction of the negroes on five plantations, in all about three hundred, the owners of whom are professors "f religion. I usually preach three times on the Sal. hath, and after each sermon I spend a shorl time catechising. 1 have occasional meetings for in- quiry . Another wrote from the Savannah river: "1 visit eighteen plantations every two week- : catechise the children, and pi with the sick in the week. Preach twice or thrice on the Sabbath. The owners have built three uood churches at their own expense, nil framed; _"."> members have been added, and about 400 children are instructed each week."* Stonewall Jackson took the deepesl interest in the religious welfare of the slave-, and hi- colored Sunday school at Lex- ington, Va., has become famous. "A day or two after the battle of Manassas, and before the news of the victory had reached Lexington in authentic form, the postoffice was thronged with people, awaiting with intense interesl the opening of the mail. Soon a letter was handed t<. the Rev. Dr. White, who immediately recognized the well- known superscription of his deacon soldier, and exclaimed to the eager and expectant -roup around him: "Now we -hall know all the facts.' Upon opening it the bulletin read tin-: 'M\ Dear Pastor, In my tent last night, after a fatiguing day's service, I remembered that \ had failed to send you my contribution for our colored Sunday school. Enclosed you will tind my chek for t1i.it object, which please acknowledge at your earlie-t convenience, and oblige yours faithfully, T. -I. Jackson.'" t These are no1 exceptional Instances. They might be multi- plied indefinitely. The Rev. T. I '. Thornton, late Presidenl of the Centenary College, Clinton, Mississippi, who traveled * Dr. R. Q. Mallard's "Plantation Life before Emancipation," pp. i is-i-j<(. i =,'>-! S7 - Tho-c win. desire to study plantation life as it really was should read this book, published by Whittel and Sheppers.>n, Richmond, Va.; and also "The Memorials <>f a Southern Planter," by Mr-. Smedes: dishing .v Co., Baltimore. t Mr-. Mary A.Jackson, "Memoirs of Stonewall J ackson," pp. 1S1-2. — 17— extensively through the South, wrote in L841, '*In some places they (the negroes) have large, spacious churches for themselves, as in Baltimore, Alexandria, ( !harleston; in others they have seats appropriated for them on the lower floor, or a portion or the whole of the galleries of the churches. We do not know in any slave-holding State in the I nion, a neighborhood, where a church lias been built for any oi the orthodox Protestant denominations, in which a portion tin re of \vas not set apart for the colored people, unless they have a church of their own, or other provision in some church in the vicinity." Mr. Thornton estimates that there were at that time at least 500,000 church members among the slaves, or about one-fifth of the negro population, and that 2,000,000 were regular church attendants." It was about this date that the Hon. William day, of New York, charged the people of the South with "having com- pelled 2,245,144 slaves to live without God and die without hope among a people professing to reverence the obligations of Christianity." f On the other hand, the Hon. Henry A. Wise declared in a speech before the Colonization Society of Virginia, of which President Tyler was the chief officer, "Africa gave to Vir- ginia a savage and a slave 1 — Virginia gives back to Africa a citizen and a Christian!" J These facts have been given because the religious history of the negroes since the war cannot be understood apart from diem. "It was fortunate for the negro," -ays Dr. 11. K. Carroll. of the United States census staff, "thai while he was the slave of the white master, that master was a Christian and instruc- ted him in the Christian faith." § Emancipation loosened the tie that bound the negro to his master's church, and he straightway became a church-builder on his own account. Tn the twenty-five years from 1865 to L890 the negroes lmilt 19,753 churches, with a seating capac ity of 5,818,459, at a cost of $20,323,887. While a large * Rev. T. C. Thornton, "An Inquiry into the Histor)' of Slavery, etc.," pp. iio-iii. t Ibid. p. 98. J Ibid. p. 277. § "The Religious Forces of the United States," pp. liv, lv. —18— pari of this has been contributed by white neighbors, the negroes bave 3hown commendable liberality and self- denial in this work, sometimes mortgaging their little homes in order to build their churches. Dr. II. K. ( 'arroll, compiler of the religious census, put the number of communicants in 1890 at 2,610,525 out of a total population of 7,470,000, or nearly one in three. (•'!). The Negro's Material Prosperity. Beginning with nothing in l v < ; ."». this race lias accumulat <1 property whose assessed value is $260,000,00.0. Many • them own their homes, some are land-holder-, and the more thrifty and industrious live in neatness and comfort. There is much that is encouraging and hopeful in these sta- tistics, and they would seem to indicate that the negro's condi- tion has wonderfully improved. But, unfortunately, there is another side to the question, the facts of which look dark for the future of the race. These facts may be grouped under two head-. i I ). Vital Statistics. From l s 7<> to L880 the negro population increased nearly 36 per eci M. ; from 1 ssi i t | s|M i 1 | 1( . increase was only a lit lit 1 over 13 per cent. This is aboul one half the rate of Increase among the white-. "For the year L895, when 82 white death- from consump lion occurred in the city of Nashville, there oughl to have been only !'.' colored, whereas there really were 218, or nearly four and one half times as many as there ought to have heei it is an occasion of serious alarm when .".7 per cent, of the whole i pie are responsible for 72 per cent, of the deaths from consumption. Deaths among colored people from pul monarv diseases seem to be on the increase throughout the Smith. During the period 1882 l vx -~>. the excess of colored deaths (over white) for the city of Memphis was 90.80 per cent. For the period 1891 1895 the excess had risen to over 137 per cent. For the period of l sv,- > 1 s '.m>. the excess of col- ored deaths from consumption and pneumonia for the city of Atlanta was 139 per cent. Fot the period 1891 1895, it had —19— risen to nearly L66 per cent Before the (civil) war this dread disease was virtually unknown among the slaves. A.ccording to floffman, deaths from consumption have fallen off i;;i in 100, ooo among the whites and increased 234 in 100, 000 among the blacks since the war."* When we remember that tubercular and scrofulous dis- eases are the natural agents thai have swepl away the weaker races before the onward march of Anglo-Saxon civilization, it would seem that unless the progress of these diseases among the negroes is cheeked, that race is destined to gradual extinc- tion. (2). Closely associated with these "vital statistics," and underlying them, is the question of immorality and crime. And this is the saddest part of the picture. Prof. Eugene Earris says in the report already quoted: -The constitutional diseases which are responsible for our unusual mortality are often traceable to enfeebled constitu- tions, broken down by sexual immoralities. According to Hoffman, over 25 per cent, of the negro children horn in Washington City are admittedly illegitimate. According to a writer quoted in Black America, in one county in Miss., there were during 12 months 300 marriage licenses taken out in the county clerk's office for white people. According to the proportion of population there should have been in the same time 1,200 or more for negroes. There were actually taken out by colored people just three A few years ago I said in a sermon at Fisk University, that wherever the An- glo-Saxon comes into contact with an inferior race the infe- rior race invariably goes to the wall. 1 called attention to the fact that, in spite of humanitarian and philanthropic efforts, the printing press, the steam engine, and the electric motor in the hands of the A.nglo-Saxon were exterminating the inferior races more rapidly and more surely than shot and shel"' and bayonet. 1 mentioned a number of races that have perished, not because of destructive wars and pestilence, but because they were unable to live in the environment of a nineteenth century civilization; race- whose destruction was * Prof. Eueene Harris. Fisk University, Nashville. Tenn., "Report on the Social and Phvsical Condition of Negroes in Cities," in Report of Commissioner of Education, 1S06-97, Vol. 2. p. 2310. —20— nol due t<> a persecution that came to them from without, but to a lack of mora] stamina within: races thai perished in spit< of the humanitarian and philanthropic efforts that were pur forth to save them." If the cause of the excessive death rate among the neg be moral rather than sanitary, then, as Prof. Harris says, I fad oughl to appeal- nol only in the vital, but in the criminal statistics as well. And there it is found in most appalling figures. Three-fourths of the crimes in the South are com- mitted by negroes. The negroes, constituting about 11 per cent, of the entire population of the nation, furnish ;>T per cent, of all its homicides, and 66 per cent, of its female hom- icides. The statistics seem to indicate thai the full har is yet to come, for the rising generation far outstrips in crime the generation that i- passing off the stage. Of homiei< from 50 to 60 years of age, the negroes furnish about one- fifth, which is not quite twice their share in proportion to population; from -'I<» to 40, they furnish about one-third; fr »m 20 to 30 nearly one-half; and under 20 years of age two-thirds of the homicide-- are negroes, thai is, six time- their share in proportion to population. That this disparity is not due to any prejudice against the negro in the courts of the South is shown by the fact that in the State of Pennsylvania, where the negroes form only 2 per cent, of the population, they furnish L6 per cent, of male prisoners and •". 1 per cent, of the female: and in ( Jhieago, whi h 3ome colored people call the "Negroi -' Heaven," w they form only 1 ', per emu. of the population, they furnish ten per cent, of the arrests. In order to avoid every appearance of prejudice or unfair ness that mighl be supposed to color a white man'- portrayal, I have presented the dark side of the picture as painted cl ie ly by a prominent negro educator who i< giving hi- life to the amelioration of hi- people. I h . of the most hopeful augu- ries for the race i- to he found in the clear -iuhtedm--. candor and moral earnestness of Prof. Harris and hi- < peers. V. And now. we conn to tin serious question, Wherein lie >f Eugene Harris in "Re] >ner of Education," Vol. 2, p. 2.W 2. —21 — the causes of this appalling increase in immorality and crime? The main causes arc three: 1. The sudden and violent removal of the restraints put upon the negro by slavery and his elevation to a position for which he was not prepared. The New York Voice, which will not be suspected 61 a bias toward the institution of slav- ery, said in a recent editorial: "It has been the subject of frequent remark in the last oO years that these same negroes showed themselves remarkably free from any disposition to commit either murder or rape prior to the civil war, and dur- ing the civil war when they were left as almost the sole guar- dians of the women of the Southland. Where were these primitive instincts then? They were latent, we are told. Why are they not latent now? The question is a formidable one. Donbth-ss the conditions of freedom, the removal of habitual restraint, the sense of unaccustomed liberty, has had something to do with it." In slavery the negro was kept under the influence, largi ly, of the best people of the South. The firm hand of the go d master and the gentle ministry of the kind mistress, and the care of little children, made him tender, loyal and affection- ate. Since emancipation, "while the good of the land have left him largely alone, the workers of sin have been active to a remarkable degree; the vicious of both race- have met and mingled and ripened into criminality, until the land cries aloud."* The negro was plunged into an environment for which be was not prepared; he was no1 ready for sudden emancipation, much less for citizenship. The bestowmenl of the franchise alienated him from those who were his life-long and natural friends, and betrayed him into the hand- of those who have proved to be his worsl enemies. This is now clearly seen and strongly expressed by some of the wisesl leaders of the race. The Ixev. .lame- L. White, a colored minister of North Carolina, in an address delivered before a large audience of colored people in Washington ' 'itv a few week- ago, said, as reported in f be Washington Post: "Colored men have been marshaled for over 30 years to fight against the infer. * Rt. Rev. C. Clifton Penick. D.D., "The Struggles, Perils and Hopes of the Negro in the United States." p. 17. 00 of the South. This political war in the South will continue as long as the colored men are led by these third-class men. These men have misled the colored people ever since the civil war." Prof. Booker T. Washington in an address recently deliv- ered in theOld South Church, Boston, said in part: ''It was unfortunate that, with few exceptions, those of the white race, from the North, who not the political control of the South in the beginning of our freedom were not men of such high and unselfish nature- as to lead them to do something thai fundamentally and permanently would help the negro, rather than yield to the temptation to use the negro a- a means to lift themselves into political poweT and eminence. This mistake had the effect of making the negro and the Southern white man political enemies. It was unfortunate thai the negro got the idea that e- X»Southern white man was opposed by nature to hi- higl Wf friend in the white man who was removed from him by a dis- 3 interesl and advancement, and that he could only find a ^J^anee of thousands of miles."* The very statesmen of the South who deprecated most earnestlv the existence and continuance of slavery saw most clearly the dangers of sudden emancipation. ••.Much as 1 deplore slavery," said Patrick Henry, "T see thai prudence fori. id- it- abolition." Chief Justice Marshall declared thai abolition would no1 remove the evils caused by the negro's presence. Jefferson dreaded the effects of immediate emancipation. and leaned towards colonization as a remedy, with grave doubts of it- practicability. ETenry Clay declared, "The evils of slavery are absolutely nothing in comparison with the far greater evils which would inevitably follow, from a sudden, general and indiscriminate emancipation." + The sentimenl in favor of gradual emancipation was ginning to take hold in the Smith, "'when the counter move nieiit of forcible and immediate abolition by the general gov- ernmenl was initiated."^ • ''Boston Transcript," January 9, t8 + White'- "Lee and the Southern Confederacy," p. 66. ; Rev. H. M. White, D.D., "W. S. White and His Times," Chap. 13. —23— The circulation of incendiary publications intended to insti- gate the slaves to insurrection pin the South on the defensive, and the instinct of self-preservation estopped all plans for th< education of the negro with a view to preparing him for free- dom. Our Northern friends who take it for granted thai we have safely passed the dangers predicted by the statesmen of a hundred years ago, will do well to ponder recenl words of thoughtful men of the North on the race question of today. Theodore Roosevelt writes, in his Lite of Benton: "It was perfectly possible and reasonable for enlightened and virtu- ous men, who fully recognized slavery as an evil, yet to pref< r its continuance to having it interfered with in a way that would produce even worse results. Black slavery in Ilayti was characterized by worse abuse than ever was the case in the Onited Slates; yet looking at the condition of that repub- lic now, it may well be questioned whether it would not have been greatly to her benefit in the end to have had slavery con- tinue a century or so longer." G. T. Curtis, in the Life of Buchanan, declare-: ''Emanci- pation without any training for freedom could not be a bless ing The Christianity and .the philanthropy of this age have before them a task that is far more serious, more weighty and more difficult than it would have been, if the emancipation had been a regulated process, even if its final consummation had been postponed for generation-;." These sentiments of Northern men sound like an echo of those expressed by Gen. Roberl E. Lee, in L856: "There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not ac- knowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and polit- ical evil in any country. It i- useless to expatiate on its dis- advantages. 1 think it a greater evil to the white than to the black race. While my feelings are stronglv enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa. morally, physically and socially. Tim painful discipline thi y are undergoing is n Bsary for their further instruction race, ami I hope will prepare them for better things. How long their servitude may bo necessary i- known and ordered by a merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner — I'l— result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storms and tempests of fiery controversy. This influence, though slow, is sure While we see the • •our-'- of the final abolition of human slavery is .-till onward, and give it the aid of our prayers, and all justifiable mean- in our power, we must leave the progri — as well as the result in 1 Ii- hands who sees the end; who cho 3es to work by slow influences; with whom a thousand years are but as a single day." Of course no one deems it either possible or desirable to re-instate the institution of slavery. We musl face the situa- tion as ii is. One of the greatest dangers threatening th«- South today i-, that burd< ned with the evils that have grown oul of sudden and violent abolition, she may resort more and more to sudden and violent mean- of relieving herself of t! • burdens. Tlio shot-gun policy is far from being an ideal one among a civilized people, and political legerdemain is even worse. Any limitation that may be put on the suffrage should ii-! discriminate againsl the negro as such, but should apply to white and black alike. Let ns beware of the 1 merang of injustice. 2. The second cause of increased crime among the ne- groee is the all too common resorl to lynching instead of to law. as a corrective of crime. Within the past fifteen years nearly 2,500 persons have been lynched in the United S - According to :i record kept by the Chicago Tribune there were, for the years 1886 to L895, 1,655 lynchings as againsl L,040 legal executions We need nol be surprised to find that crime has prog ed with rapid strides under the lash of lawlessness. Tn 1886 there were 1,449 murders committed in the United States; in 1895, by an alarming yearly increase, the record had grown to 7,900. A large proportion of the lynchings are perpetrated in the South. In the year 1 sv '.> then' were 117 lynchings in the 'led States, of which 94, or aboul v,) per cent, of the whole number, were in H S ith. Some one may say thai this i- due to the presence of the m among us, and that * While- "Lee and the Southern Confederacy," pp. 50, 51, 77. t "l"io lia of Siu-i.il Reform," p. I —25— under the same conditions lynchings would be just as preva- lent at the North. This may be true and if we were answer able only to Northern newspapers, the reply tnighl suffice. But it will not satisfy a healthy conscience. Much Less will it adequately meet God's awful question, "Where is thy brother?" Verily, our brother's blood crieth against us from the ground. The prevalence of the terrible crime against womanhood does not excuse ns. Unless we can tinA a way to deal with this exasperating evil by process of law rather than by the fury of the mob, we shall be overwhelmed by the lawlessness that lawlessness begets. "Lynch law as an epidemic will never be suppressed," says Dr. E. L. Pell, "by ignoring the conditions which keep the atmosphere infected with the ffenns of the lynching fever. Briefly stated these conditions are: (1). The prevalence of crime among the blacks and (2) the prevalence of nice prejudice among the whites. A serious difficulty which has confronted the student of the problem from the beginning i> the popular disposition to ignore one or the other of these conditions. For a long while the friends of the negro a1 the North saw nothing to account for the infected state of the atmosphere but race prejudice, while the average Southerner could see nothing but negro crime." A- to the proper attitude of North and South respectively to this question. Dr. Pell makes a most valuable suggestion. He recommends that the two sections exchange texts. That Northern preaching, which is most influential with the negro, should be directed against negro crime, and that Southern preaching, which is most influential with the white people oi this section, should be directed against lawlessness and race prejudice.* The trouble has been that the thrusts of North and South have been against each other rather than against lynching and the crime that provokes it. The resull has been an end less logomachy that has only aggravated these evils. 3. The third, and chief, cause of the demoralization of the negroes has been the comparative indifference of the white * "The American Review of Reviews," March, 1S9S. —26— ( Christians of the S. «u t h to the religious interests of these peo- ple since I be civi] war. I nder the regime of slavery, a- we have -ecu, a ureal deal was done by the Southern whites for the evangelization of the negroes. Whilsl no one will claim thai all was done that mighl have been done, yet, admitting all shortcomings, it re mains True thai the history of the world furnishes no parallel case of so rapid an uplifting of a race from the lowest feti- chism to Christian worship. Slavery, with all its drawbacks, was as Gen. Armstrong says, "the greatesl missionary enter- prise of the century." Now, if the Southern whites had. after the war, not only continued bu1 redoubled their direcl efforts for the religious advancement of the negro, then- would have been a vm-v differenl state of affairs in the Smith today. But, unfortu- nately, since 1865 the mass of the white Christians of the South have taken no serious interesl in the evangelization the negroes. This indifference may be explained in part, but it can never be justified. When the negro and the Southern white man parted company politically, they also parted com- pany ecclesiastically. When, as Booker Washington says, the negro go1 the idea that "every Southern white man was opposed by nature to his highesl interests and advancement." it was inevitable thai this should make it extremely difficult for the Southern white man to reach him with religious in- struction. The negro, taughl to believe that the white- of the South knew nothing of politic-, drew the inference that they knew even less of religion. Bui the presence of a diffi culty can never absolve from a duty. And it was the duty of the white ( Ihristians of the South t i pul forth more p >rsis tent efforts to help the negro religiously. We might not have been able to do all thai was desirable, hut this doe- nol excuse us for doing little or nothing. A- to the Southern Presbyterian ( !hurch it i< not too much to say that, pxcepl for sporadic efforts here and there, it lias practically settled down to a policy of inactivity, if no1 of in- difference, towards what in the minute- of our ecclesiastical court- we are pleased to call "Colored Evangelization." In their report to the < Ipneral Assembly of 1898, the Exec- utive I 'oinmittee of < 'olored Evangeli :ation have this to sav of -27 the difficulties met with: "Many of the obstacles thai con- front us are, perhaps, inherenl in this particular work. But by far the most serious difficulty is the indifference o± our people." Rev. (). B. Wilson, who was appointed by the Assembly of 1897 to visit the churches in order to raise $10,000 for Stillman Institute, says in his report to the Assembly of 1898: "The task was not an enviable one, neither easy nor pleasant. It was encompassed with difficulties. The cause itself is unpopular; the times were stated to be 'very unsuit- able for raising money'; the 'other calls were numerous,' etc. But a conviction of the crying needs of the work — a convic- tion that came from actual contact with it — converted the difficulties into a stimulus. I was deeply convinced that the very lethargy prevailing was a reason of unanswerable force demonstrating the need of vigorous work While I found much prejudice against the work in the minds of very many people, and :i greal indifference toward it, vet it was also noticeably true that in nearly every congregation there seemed to be a few persons, earnest souls, who took more than a mere passing - interest in the subject, as if they had already felt that, this part of our work was greatly neglected, and they stood ready to assist in it. Knless our professed belief in the value of souls is empty talk, how can it. be otherwise?" It will appear from all that has been said that the race problem in the South is, perhaps, the most difficult problem that God in His providence ever submitted to any people for solution. There is, after all. but <>no satisfactory solution to be found, the preaching to white and to black of the everlsst- ing gospel, which is the wisdom of God and the power of God. Dr. A. L. Phillips quotes a distinguished divine as saying, "Unless the gospel solve this matter, then it will be bam:! bang!"* VT. This paper will conclude with some reasons why the church, and especially the Southern Presbyterian branch of the church, should cast off indifference and gird herself for this work. 1. The welfare of our own posterity is at -take. Our children * "Presbyterian Quarterly," October, 1891, p. 539. — -js— and the children of our negro neighbors are to live 3ide by side. Unless the white man elevates the negro, the negro will inevitably degrade the white man. Can our children live in contact with a race which, as has been shown, i- making tear- ful strides in immorality and crime, and no1 be affected tor tin- worse thereby? It is said thai Sir Roberl Peel's daughter died of typhus fever of the most malignanl type; and when inquiry was made a- to how she had caught the infection, it was discov- ered that it was through a beautiful riding babit presented t<> her by ber father. This riding habit, bought from a Lon- don tradesman, had been made in a miserable attic, where the husband of the seamstress was lying ill <d' fever, and it had been used by her to cover him in his shivering fits. The highest are not proof againsl infection that originates among the lowest. Unless we meet this moral leprosy with Christ's word of power, "lie thou (dean," it will pollute and destroy both races alike! It is also to the interesl of the coming generations thai the South should be the negro's chief almoner. While we have no righl to complain if others do what we leave undone, and while we are gratefully to welcome aid from without, the South cannot afford to relegate the evangelization of the ne groes to other-. What Gov. Vance -aid of the State and 5 C nlar education applies equally to the church and religious in struction: "I regard h a- an unmistakable policy to imbue these black people with a thorough North Carolina feeling, and make them cease to look abroad for the aids to their pro- gress and civilization, and the protection of their rights ;is they have been taughl to do, and teach them to look to their own -tate instead; to teach them that their welfare i- indis Bolubly linked with ours 2. Tin Presbyterian church can do more than any other for the negro. In saying this, there i- no intention to dispar the work done by other denominations. Tt i- only claim ing for the Presbyterian church what each denonrna- tion claims for itself without breach of true charity. * i 'Message to the General Assembly of n. <'.." is;;. —29— The Presbyterian church believes thai it is peculiarly fitted to give the negro what he needs. The negro is, on the one hand, extravagantly emotional, and, on the other band, ex- travagantly fond of uniform, whether military or ecclesiasti- cal. The first of these characteristics bas given the churches that emphasize emotionalism a strong hold on him in the past, and the second will give the churches that emphasize ritualism a firmer and firmer hold on him in the future, as bis Love of the showy blossoms into estheticism. These same characteris- tics will cause the work of the Presbyterian church for the negro to be slow; that is, if we are to give him what he ne< ds rather than what he wants. His needs are, in our judgment, a soundly educated ministry, sober instruction, simple and quiet rather than ritualistic or emotional modes of worship, a simple and orderly system of church government and discipline, and a "home life in which the children will be carefully trained and instructed in the word of God and in the faith of the church."* 3. The work of the Southern Presbyterian church for the negro has reached the gravest crisis in its history. The few, feeble, and widely scattered negro churches, heretofore in or- ganic union with the white churches, have been organized into an Independent African Presbyterian church. The charge has been brought against us that we have taken this action because of race prejudice, and with the purpose to rid ourselves of the burden of colored evangelization. Those who bring the charge ignore the fact that it was at the request of the colored ministers and elders in convention assembled that this step was taken, f Our critics, too, wherever they are brought into ecclesias- tical proximity to the negroes, manifest the very race preju- dice they charge against us. These fact- may -one as missiles to hurl at those who cen sure us; but they will not relieve us of odium in the sight of God and man, if we allow the new-born African Presbvte rian church to perish for lack of sympathy and support. V\ e shall be "made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men." * Rev. D. Clay Lilly. f Dr. A. L. Phillips, "The Independent," Feb, 24. r* — :j<>— 4. The Southern Presbyterian church should enter with fresh faith and enthusiasm into this work, because of the wide door that has been opened to us in Africa. The storv of our Mission on the Congo may be classed among the wonders of modern missionary annals. Our Secretary of Foreign Missions has said that if the work of colored evangelization had done nothing more than to raise up the colored missionaries now in the African field, the church would stiH be repaid a hundred-fold for all the money she has expended for the blacks. How are we to enlarge the work in Africa so signally blessed with God's fa- vor except by enlarging the work for the negroes at home? And how absurdly inconsistent to send missionaries to Africa while we neglect the Africans at our doors! 5. This is a singularly opportune rime to enlist the intelli- gent interest of the Christian people of every section of the Union in the race problem. Events that have occurred in Ohio within the pa-t two 01 three years, and more recent events in Illinois are calling at- tention to the race question as a national problem, whose diffi- culties develop wherever the two races are broughl together, especially where there has been no prior period of gradual ad- justment as in the South. What would be the result if half a million negroes could be suddenly injected into the popula- tion of one of these states? The annexation of Hawaii and the proposed policy of ex pansionhave brought the whole American people with start- ling suddenness face to face with a new race problem. The Spanish American war has done much to heal the breach made by the war between the state-. When we see the -ran. bon of General F. S. Grant serving on the staff of General Fitzhugh Lee, it looks as if North and South had in- dee.] clasped hands. W e may expect from henceforth, with the blessing of God, a bettor understanding and a closer sympathy between the people of the two sections in regard to the race problem. Much has been said of late years about the ,r New South," but out ot the mists of ignorance an.l prejudice concerning the race problem, "there is emerging a New North."* * "The N'..rth Carolina Presbyterian." FD 10.4 - 31— The New North and the New South, recognizing the com- mon responsibility of the two sections for the existence of the race problem, and approaching this problem with mutual un- derstanding and sympathy and an earnest desire for the besl interests of white and black alike, can do more in five years towards a satisfactory settlement of the race question, than has been accomplished in thirty-five years of mistrust and contention. Let the prayers of Christians, white and black, from one end of this land to the other, rise to God for wisdom and grace to solve this problem according to His righteous will ! . V c* \- DOBES BROS. LIBRARY BINDING SI ' JSTINE -LA.